Cornwallis Low-tide LoopBeginner - Intermediate
Submitted by Lyn Stanton
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Front country - easily accessible
Undulating, small hills only
Beginner - Intermediate
VERY IMPORTANT - This route should only be attempted with very calm sea conditions and timed to ensure low tide around the headland. Even so, you need to be prepared to get wet.
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LOW TIDE ROUTE ONLY. Starting from the carpark, follow the well developed gravel track through bush to the beach. You may see dog walkers and fishers.
Turn left across the sandflats and then onto the rocky fringe. Rock hopping all the way. Mix of rock experiences - round slippery boulders, oyster and barnacle covered scrambles, small beaches. Good idea to take some waterproof dressings in case of cuts. Be prepared to clamber, scramble and wade. There is one point where there is a deeper water crossing. Only attempt this if the sea is calm, not surging and time yourself for dead low tide!!
Eventually you will come around to Cornwallis Wharf. Continue along the beach or on the grassy fringe to the carpark and gravel road. Hopefully the Jubilee Track will have re-opened which means you can stay off the dust up the hill. At Huia Road, turn left and run back to the starting carpark - about 1.5k of sealed road - a moderate but short climb and then descent. There is a reasonable shoulder but be aware of cars. If the sea conditions are doubtful you may want to start in the opposite direction, in which case it is possible to get up to the headland road by bush crash/fishers' track before the deepest water crossing.
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Features of interest
Beautiful coastal views
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 60%
Easy Single Track: 11%
Gravel Road: 13%
Sealed Road: 16%
Carpark on Huia Rd at Kakamatua Inlet. There is a new kauri die-back wash station at the start of the track to the beach.
There is a reasonable sized carpark at the start of the trail, but it gets busy at weekends so go early! Dogs are allowed down to the beach but the rest of the route is not dog suitable.
The navigation is easy but the risk is from the sea. Note warnings regarding tide and wave surges.
Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
No drinking water until Cornwallis Beach.
Only attempt with calm settled sea conditions and low tide.
Ankle twisting rocks, sharp oysters and barnacles, rock scrambles, sea surges.
Post run indulgence
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